Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Art of Play: A Toy Bird/Christmas Ornament, 1975

The Victoria & Albert Museum

I've looked at this bird about two dozen times. It's one of those images that has been randomly assigned to me repeatedly as I catalogue online images for the V&A. After the twenty-fourth time, I decided i like it.

So, what is it? It's a toy bird, yes. But, not one that would be too fun to play with. This toy bird, resembling a peacock, is best described as a Christmas tree ornament. At the base of the neck is a small metal loop allowing for an ornament hook. Some of the bird's painted clay surface adorned with fragments of clear glass. The rest of the body and wire legs are covered with pink fur which I suspect is meant to resemble feathers. The head is also covered in glass fragments while the neck is adorned with long glass beads.

Made in China in 1975, the bird was for export to Western Europe.

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